So there's this game I play. I don't really like it, but I am quite good at it. I'm sure you're familiar with it too. It is called the "What If" Game.
You never really volunteer to pay this game. It just happens to you... and it is about as easy to end as Jumanji. Btw, if you have any tips for avoiding/minimizing this game, I'm all ears.
Anyway, I've been playing for as long as I can remember. I don't play it every day or even every week or month necessarily. It is completely unpredictable to figure out when it might start. Normally I am just going about my day when the smallest thing can set the game in motion. Sometimes it isn't more than a harmless thought that then snowballs out of control.
"What if" is a game of worst case senarios. And I am so good at it that I've brought myself to tears with my imagination and have to remind myself that the what if is not in fact reality.
So last night I played a nasty round of it after the alarm on James's monitor went off. We bought one of those monitors that also has a motion sensor. It is supposed to detect the slightest movements and is sensitive enough to tell that your baby is breathing. And based on my testing of the unit, I believe it works the way it is meant to. Anyhow, if baby goes 15 seconds completely motionless a little beep will sound on my end. Another 5 seconds and a continuous beeping alarm will sound on my end and in the baby's room.
Well, James has been sleeping in his crib for two and a half weeks now with no alarm. Last night it went off and of course I shot out of bed and ran across the hall. It probably took me two terrifying seconds. The alarm in his room had sounded too and caused him to stir (and resume breathing). After my heart started beating again you can imagine the what ifs that ensued...
What if it hadn't woke him?
What if I had to do cpr?
What if I didn't do it right?
What if the EMTs didn't show up in time?
What if it happens again?
What if it happens at daycare during a nap and nobody notices?
I watched him breathe for the next ten minutes. Then I tried to go back to bed. But I kept playing that damn game and had to go check on him again. And of course I compulsively checked on him every minute of every nap throughout the day.
I realize there is the "what if it was a false alarm?" and I have two things to say about that: 1.) I don't think it was because I can't even trick that device into going off...I ran a multitude of my own tests when setting it up. Placing my hand in different areas of the crib... moving it gently, keeping it still. I can't keep my hand still enough in the crib to set the thing off. Good for nothing piece of junk, I thought, but then I can throw only a teddy bear in and it knows the difference and starts beeping almost immediately. Things have to be deadly still for the alarm to sound. 2.) I'll take a false alarm over no alarm any day.
Yeah, yeah... all this new technology... somehow babies survived before it. Babies sometimes forget to breathe but the body's natural response is to want oxygen and breathe again. That may be all fine and good and true, but some babies have not survived and I can't help but wonder "what if" they had that technology?
So I'm embracing the new technology and don't care if people think I'm crazy for it...I swear I'd collapse into a pile of dust if that what if game ever became my reality because look at this face...